Salah set for Liverpool return after Africa Cup of Nations heartbreak

AFP , Tuesday 8 Feb 2022

Mohamed Salah could play for Liverpool against Leicester on Thursday after his Africa Cup of Nations heartbreak but Sadio Mane will not be available after returning to Senegal to celebrate his team's victory.

Egypt s forward Mohamed Salah walks past the trophy after loosing the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 final football match between Senegal and Egypt at Stade d Olembe in Yaounde on February 6, 2022. AFP

Senegal beat Egypt on penalties after Sunday's final in Cameroon's capital Yaounde finished goalless, with Mane scoring the decisive spot-kick in a match that pitted Liverpool's two star forwards against each other.

Salah returned to Liverpool's training centre on Tuesday and will be assessed by medical staff ahead of the game against mid-table Leicester.

"Mo is now back, I spoke already to him," Klopp told "He is very disappointed of course, but looking forward to all the things coming up here now.

"I spoke to him and pretty much the first thing Mo told me was: 'I'm ready'.

"He is an experienced player, he is a physical monster, to be honest, so we have to see. He will obviously have a little recovery session today and we will see how he feels tomorrow and from there we go.

"The proper plan we don’t have, play him as often and as long as possible is probably the plan, but we will not rush it. But if he is fine we will not leave him out for the wrong reasons as well, so let’s see."

Klopp, whose side are second in the Premier League, said Mane was expected to arrive back in Liverpool on Thursday so would not be involved in the Leicester game.

"It (the cup win) means the world to him, it means the world to his people, it means the world to Senegal and we respect that a lot and we would never consider to have called back him from there or whatever -- let them do what they do in the moment because they deserve it," he said.

"They've had an incredibly intense time, so when he is back we will talk to him and we will see how we can use him."

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